The 2016-17 NBA season is upon us. A new piece of history is about to be written. Whether you believe in fate, luck, or that the results of the season ahead are based on what the players themselves leave on the court, the game is on. One of the best parts of offseason, after the draft and free agency, with all the cards on the table, is to predict what is to come. Will you favorite team be the champions come the end of the season? How many wins will so and so have? Below are my predictions.
The Warriors won’t surpass their 73 win record: There I said it. Even with Durant, the Warriors with a weakned bench will mean a tired and overworked starting lineup. Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green all add up to a lot of ego and testosterone. The Warriors will win 65 this year.
The Warriors won’t win the championship: With Durant on board, all I hear is that the Warriors are going to win it all. Hold on a minute. They’d have to get past a burgeoning West plus the Cavs in the playoffs. Their starters will be far too tired to take it to the limit.
The Timberwolves will make the playoffs: With Tom Thibodeau running the show, rookie Kris Dunn, a polished collection of role players out of free agency, and a returning roster of blossoming talent, this will finally be the year that the Twolves get back to the playoffs. How fitting Kevin Garnett retires before it happens.
The Utah Jazz will make the playoffs: George Hill and Joe Johnson will help the Jazz make a successful run at the postseason. Good timing too, as Gordon Hayward is starting to get antsy. They will find themselves in the playoffs albeit a low seed and a first round exit.
The Celtics will make the eastern conference finals: The addition of Horford will be just what the doctor ordered, helping the Celtics to eastern conference finals where they will face the defending champion Cavs.
The Knicks will make the playoffs, but fall out in the second round due to injuries: Though they are not what you’d call contenders, the Knicks have enough talent to get to the playoffs, but they won’t be able to fend off injuries and fatigue. Plus they will see the Cavs in the second round. Ouch.
The Blazers will win 56 games: The Blazers are an underated team once again. Injuries and fatigue stopped them from hitting the fifty mark last season. With Ezeli, Turner added to the mix, the Blazers have a deep team with a chip on their shoulder and experience. Doubt them and you’ll be sorry.
Damian Lillard gets 3rd most MVP votes behind Lebron James and Kevin Durant, who wins: Damian Lillard is definately an MVP caliber player, but the Blazers who are young and learning, have gotten little respect. This year Damian Lillard will up his play and his hard work will pay off with the third highest MVP votes for the 2016-17 season.
The Detroit Pistons will miss the playoffs by a single game: The east is going to be closer then ever this year in the win/loss column, and it’s going to come down to the wire. Detroit will miss the playoffs by a groaning inch.
The Chicago Bulls will barely make the playoffs eeking out the 8th seed: Wade and Butler’s are going to break their backs getting the Bulls to the postseason. They will, it’s just too bad it will be with the 8th seed, meaning they will face the Cavs in the first round. Uh oh.
Russell Westbrook won’t be traded: Durant left. Westbrook won’t. He will give the Thunder a chance to rebuild and to prove to him, that he should be there. OKC gets to keep a star to build around, and Westbrook gets his own team. Win/win.
DeMarcus Cousins will get traded at the deadline to the 76ers: Vlade Divac, need I say more.
Allen Crabbe wins 6th man of the year: Crabbe will have a lobster of season, mostly off the bench though he will replace Turner as the starting small forward, then be replaced himself by Aminu who will move back to the 3 later in the season. regardless Crabbe will have his best year and take home the sixth man award.
Blazers will make the western conference finals: The Blazers will make it out of the second round this season, and duel for a spot in the finals. The addition of Ezeli and Turner ups their pedigree, and with a healthy Meyers Leonard this time around, signs point to yes.
The Cavaliers will repeat as champions: That’s right, and there is nothing the Warriors can do about it. Lebron is on a mission to show the Warriors Durant isn’t going to help them win the trophy, as long as he has something to say about it
The Sixers will win at least 27 games, the Lakers will not: Deng and Mozgov are going to be sorry that chose to play in LA. They will be little help to LA’s post Kobe woes. The Sixers however, are on the rise, expect better of them then their 10 wins last season.
Blazers will claim the third seed in the west: The Warriors will of course take the first seed, and the Spurs the second, by four wins. The Blazers will oust the stagnant Clippers for the third seed, leaving them fourth.
Boston will beat out the Raptors for the 2nd seed: The Raptors won’t be quite as good as last season, due to a shift of balance in the East. The Celtics with Al Horford and gang will step into the 2 seed, knocking the Raptors to 3rd, which is theirs as long as they fend off the Pacers and Knicks.
The Rockets will miss the playoffs: James Harden’s ego is so big, it’s going to bounce off new coach Mike D’Antoni, and flatten his team. The aquisitions of Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and Nene mean little when it’s a not a team sport to begin with in Houston.
Kris Dunn beats out Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram for ROY: Ben Simmons is going to have a good year don’t get me wrong, and Ingram will be serviceable his first year with the Lakers, but Kris Dunn will show something special this season. It will be his bench play that helps propel his team to the playoffs and himself to ROY.